Where do ‘quarantine cheaters’ live in Switzerland and how are they caught?

Where do ‘quarantine cheaters’ live in Switzerland and how are they caught?
No cheating allowed: Quarantine means staying at home for 10 days. photo by AFP
People arriving in Switzerland from a ‘high-risk’ country must register with cantonal authorities and self-quarantine for 10 days. But because controls are lax, some travellers decide to skip the requirement.

According to the survey of cantons carried out by SonntagsBlick newspaper, some arrivals from ‘high-risk’ regions are evading the quarantine. 

Swiss authorities have released a list of 42 countries where coronavirus infection rates are higher than in Switzerland. People coming from those areas must comply with the mandatory quarantine.

However, in an article published on Sunday, the newspaper said that a handful of ‘cheaters’ have been found in German-speaking cantons of Bern, Glarus, Graubünden, Obwalden, Solothurn, Zug and Zurich.

No data is available for the French and Italian-language regions.

These cantons reported only about 10 cases each, but there are likely many more rule-breakers who haven’t been detected.

How have these people been discovered?

When arriving in Switzerland by plane from a high-risk country, each passenger must fill out a contact tracing card, indicating their name, address, and phone number.

The cards are collected by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and distributed to respective cantons for a follow-up.

Checks are then made by phone and email. But Gundekar Giebel from the Health Department of the Canton of Bern, told the newspaper that background noises heard during phone conversations indicate that people were not at home.

A few cases have also been reported by witnesses who saw the supposedly quarantined person out and about.

READ MORE: How to register for self-quarantine in Switzerland 

However, Giebel pointed out that authorities don’t encourage members of the public to inform on others, preferring instead to rely on each person’s sense of responsibility.

What happens to those who are caught trying to beat the system?

Theoretically, they can be fined up to 10,000 francs.

However, authorities favour the ‘diplomatic approach’ before resorting to stricter measures.

Anyone not complying with the requirement will first receive a ‘quarantine order’ from the cantonal medical office.

“And if that doesn't help, we could send the police over,” Giebel said, adding that “until now, this hasn’t been necessary”.


 


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